Smoking & Your Oral Health

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The detrimental effects smoking have on your health has been known for some time. Associated life-threatening medical conditions such as lung disease, lung and mouth cancer, heart disease, stroke, impotence, premature and low birth-weight babies has been well documented.

There have been recent studies to indicate that tobacco use may be one of the most significant factors in the development and accelerated progression of periodontal disease. It is also suggested the chemicals present in tobacco slow a patient’s recovery following periodontal treatment or any other type of oral surgery, and as such, makes the success of treatment less predictable.

Calculus

Plaque is a clear sticky film that adheres to your tooth enamel. Once this becomes hardened, it is called calculus, which can only be removed professionally by treatments such as root planing and scaling, using specially designed instruments. Depending on the severity, these treatments may be conducted under a local anaesthetic to clean deep into the area called gum pockets.

As periodontal disease develops, gaps between your teeth and gum pockets can enlarge. If the calculus is not removed from below the gum-line, the bacteria can cause the loss of tissue and bone structure that supports your teeth to deteriorate and may result in tooth loss. Periodontal disease that is left untreated can result in a bacterial infection deep in the gum pocket. Your immune system reacts to
this infection in an attempt to rid the body of the bacteria, pus then develops in the pocket, and when there is no way for it to drain, it
becomes an abscess.


Smoking Quitline - http://www.quitnow.gov.au/internet/quitnow/publishing.nsf/Content/home